As I heard the sound of my alarm I knew it was morning already but it wasn’t a morning I was eager to get out of bed. Guess what day of the week it was… Monday! And alas! Reality dawned on me, I was not through with my mathematics assignment. I rushed out of bed to look for my notebook and having checked my disorganized reading table and couldn’t find it I tried to remember where and when I saw it last. And as if my morning couldn’t get any worse, I remembered that I left it in my mum’s shop and she won’t be going to her shop till 9:00am and I was expected to get to school before 7:40am. I concluded like every other Monday I had experienced in my life that this was going to be my worst day of the week.
Does the above scenario describe you on one of your school days? Do you dread going to school? Do you dread studying and writing examinations’? Do you feel like you’ve been putting your best into your academics but you have nothing to show for it? Or do you feel that you can stretch yourself a little bit more and get your desired result? If your answer to at least one of these questions is a YES then, this article is for you.
I’ve realized in the little years I’ve spent on earth that nothing good comes by mistake; so also is success. It comes with a price tag attached to it. I’ll be sharing with you in this article things that will help you to be successful academically.
1. Check your motive: why are you in school and why do you want to succeed academically? Is it because your parents told you that for you to succeed in life you have to be educated? Is it so that you can pass your test and exams and then get a certificate? Or is it so that you can proof a point to someone, or so that you can be a blessing to others? Anything you do with an ulterior motive will not yield a very good result. You are in school so that you can gain knowledge about things that you might not necessarily learn outside the academic system of your school. You are not in school so that you can pass your tests and exams alone but so that you can learn things that will help you become the best you can be. That is why cramming to pass exam isn’t a good thing to do because after the exam you can’t really remember what you read and wrote down and that automatically means that you haven’t gained the knowledge about what you are tested on.
So check your motive.
2. Success is a cumulative effect: Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you’ve discovered why you are in school then, you must give it your best so that you can be the best you can be. Little things count. Please take note of the following:
a. Attend your classes and really be there: There is a huge difference between you attending a class and you being in the class. You can be sitted in a class and your mind isn’t in the class. Learning is a mind game. So that you can get the best from the lesson you are being taught you have to discipline yourself ( so that you can keep your mind from wandering.) You can do this by maintaining eye contact with your teacher, by being genuinely interested in what your teacher is teaching, by maintaining a good sitting position and by jotting down the points your teacher makes in class. Also try as much as possible not to be disturbed by your friends. Let them know that you don’t talk when a lesson is going on. Learn to ask your teachers questions when you don’t understand what you are being taught, this leads me to my next point.
b. Be your teachers’ friends: When I was in High School I had a very good relationship with my teachers and it helped me a lot to the extent that I was able to learn good things from them that wasn’t even part of what they taught in class. Learn to treat your teachers with respect. They are trying to impact knowledge into you so one thing you can do for them is to treat them well. You may say that they are working for their salary but I want you to know that any teacher that is teaching just because of the salary he or she will get at the end of the month won’t give you their best. I had teachers that were passionate about their profession and most especially love their students.
Don’t listen to or say derogatory comments about your teachers. Remember nobody is perfect and before your teacher becomes your teacher he or she is first a human being with his own faults and challenges. Try as much as possible to appreciate your teacher’s effort by sincerely complimenting him or her and giving him or her gift when you can no matter how small.
Learning becomes more fun for you if you love and respect your teachers. It will give you access to approach them and ask them questions when you don’t understand what you are being taught. You can’t love and respect a person and that person won’t treat you well. I’ve discovered most student don’t hate a course because it is difficult they hate the course because they hate their teachers. Begin to genuinely love your teacher and with that you will begin to love and pass the subject that that teacher takes you.
c. Endeavour to have neat and complete note: If your note isn’t complete I wonder what you will read for tests and exams. Writing your notes yourself helps you to understand it better and faster when you are reading it. So please make it an habit to have a neat and complete notes.
d. Don’t joke with your assignments and tests: I believe that assignments is one of the easiest way to get good marks. The 5 marks or 10 marks you will get by doing your assignment can take you from having an “F” in a course to a “E” or from having a “B” to having an “A.”
Little things can make a huge difference. Never go to write a test without preparing for it. Leave no stone unturned. When you cover everything on your course outline your level of confidence as regards the exam increases. It is only what you know that the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance. Play your part and God will pay His.
e. Have a personal study timetable and be consistent in using it: Anthony Robbins said”It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” Your reading timetable should contain the subjects you are offering and the number of hours and days you will be reading them in a week. You should spend more time on voluminous and difficult subjects. Reading ahead of time before tests and exams helps you to be more calm when you are preparing for them compared to someone who is just reading his or her note for the first time. It’s more like you are revising. It also gives you the privilege to complete reading your note twice or thrice before exams.
f. Practice past questions and take note of what each of your teachers expect of you: Past questions give you an insight to likely questions that can come out on each topic you are being taught and it helps you to be better prepared for them. You can get past questions from your seniors in school and from your school library if your school makes it available in their library. You can also check online for practice questions on the topic you are.
Some teachers give you hints when they are teaching in class on the main points in the topic you are being taught and they sometimes tell you how they expect you to answer their questions. That is why you have to pay attention in class.
Above all give your best to God in your academics knowing fully well that if you excel He gets the glory and otherwise you will praise Him all the same. See giving your best to your academics as a means of saying thank you to your parents for sending you to school because there are some children out there that wish they have the opportunity you have but they don’t. Make good use of this opportunity don’t throw it away.
I want you to also know that failure is not the end of the world. Whenever you experience failure make sure you learn from the mistake you made that caused you to fail. Also remain positive. Remember exam result doesn’t define you, God does. Make sure you ask Him for help. I’ve seen people that are very diligent academically but yet fail because they tried doing it without God. In all your ways acknowledge God and He will direct your path. He won’t allow you waste your effort. Till I write to you again on “K.I.T- your social life,” keep being the best you can be academically. I love you but not as much as Christ does!